About the Artist
Betty Atkinson is an Alaskan artist working from her studio in Anchorage. Ms. Atkinson says of her work, "I have been drawing and painting all my life. I have spent many years studying, practicing, and producing art. It is my passion. Along with the Great Masters, I have been influenced by the early California Impressionists. I paint the Alaskan landscape because it is so compelling. Its vastness and mystery, its monumental shapes and bold colors are a constant inspiration. Many of my paintings are done on location (en plein air). Some are completed in the studio from sketches, notes and photographs. Many pieces are a combination of reality and imagination. Painting is a way of life for me."
She received her training from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa; Banff School of Fine Arts, Alberta, Canada; the University of Alaska, Anchorage; and during an European Art Study Tour. Ms. Atkinson is a member of the Alaska Watercolor Society, the Alaska Artists Guild, the Plein Air Painters of Alaska, and she is a signature member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP)*. She exhibits through these organizations and through juried exhibitions and frequent solo and group shows. She is represented by the Stephan Fine Arts in Anchorage, Alaska and she exhibits in group shows at the Artique Gallery, Anchorage, Alaska.
Thoughts on a Search For the Perfect Studio
My search for the perfect place to paint has taken me in many directions. When my children were small (in the '50s), I would go to the basement late at night, tack canvas to a post and put my stuff on a folding chair, and paint till I could not keep my eyes open any longer. In our next home, I had a small space in the furnace room. There, I actually had an easel and a workbench. The next move gave me a garage to turn into a studio. It afforded lot of space, but was cold in the winter. When my children finally left home, I moved to a condo, and converted a bedroom to a studio. It was warm and cozy, but allowed little space for storage. I then moved to a larger condo with space for a small studio and a large area for storage and display. However, after all that, I have decided that the best studio has no walls at all. So, for the last several years I have traveled, sometimes alone and sometimes with fellow artists, searching for sites to paint "en plein aire". In conclusion, I propose that a search for the perfect studio is never over, but is part of the process of making art.
In my quest to become an artist, I asked myself: "What does an artist do?" Well, an artist may make paintings, or write novels, create poetry, or make music, document the world with a camera, string curtains across the landscape. The possibilities are endless. But what the artist is really after is the truth. The word truth may be translated into beauty, harmony, authenticity, soul, essence, sublime, real, pure, correct and on and on. That is a tough search and a never ending journey.
The truth that I seek is my own truth. One that I can express with enough clarity and inspiration to reach someone else some of the time. I believe this is a good and important thing to do and I pursue it with determination.
Exhibit with the "PLein Air Painters of Alaska" and the " Alaska Artist Guild"